Author Topic: So god's will is none of your damned business  (Read 13719 times)

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Online Azdgari

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #203 on: October 27, 2010, 12:42:56 PM »
... Since no rebuttal is forecoming, does that mean I won that arguement by default? ...

Yes.
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Offline siehjin

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #204 on: November 11, 2010, 03:54:27 AM »
hullo everyone... i'm back from holiday.  :)

i won't be trying to give comprehensive replies anymore as it's just too tiring and time-consuming. i don't have the resources to keep up that kind of effort. i will continue to try to reply though, a little here and a little there... sorry if that is a disappointment to you.

screwtape, i will revert to replying more than one person per post, in order to avoid multiple, extermely short posts. hope that replies don't get lost in the midst of it all.

Myself, I was really hoping to see his rebuttal of my "no evidence for a historial Jesus" statement.  Since no rebuttal is forecoming, does that mean I won that arguement by default?  A shame, because I wanted to see his take on the issue.

i think that a reasonable reply to the question of contemporary historians of Jesus can be found here: http://www.tektonics.org/qt/remslist.html

Free will in Heaven?  Yes or no?  If yes, then everyone ends up in Hell eventually.  If no, then the denizens of Heaven are Borg drones.

hullo kcrady... i reply with some trepidation as i've been very impressed by your posts... i know when i'm outclassed and outgunned.  :P

nevertheless, i think a good answer to the question of free will in heaven can be found here: http://www.comereason.org/phil_qstn/phi039.asp
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 04:28:45 AM by siehjin »
1. if God does not exist: we are a meaningless cosmic accident.
2. if God exists, but is Evil: we are screwed.
3. but if God exists, and is Good: we have meaning, purpose, and hope.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #205 on: November 11, 2010, 05:52:26 AM »
Siehjin's capitulation noted.

That's the best you might get, folks. He's found websites with well worded rationalizations for his inculcated delusions, enough to hold on to them as tight as ever and as if there was an actually strong case for it.

Siehjin, here are a few more christian websites that will appeal to you because of their intellectual sounding treatment of such questions as are being discussed here.

Carm.org
answersingenesis.com
icr.com

Great places to hide when you are shown evidence that your belief behaviour has no rational basis. These people say it does, cling to them.





You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #206 on: November 11, 2010, 06:06:12 AM »
Quote
nevertheless, i think a good answer to the question of free will in heaven can be found here: http://www.comereason.org/phil_qstn/phi039.asp

FTR, that website explains that they do become Borg drones.

"you are free to walk about the cube and complete tasks according to your new Borgly nature / programming, once we throw away the pesky old you, who most likely was so weak as to maurn all your fellow humans we slaughtered"



You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline velkyn

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #207 on: November 11, 2010, 10:21:59 AM »
hullo everyone... i'm back from holiday.  :)

i won't be trying to give comprehensive replies anymore as it's just too tiring and time-consuming. i don't have the resources to keep up that kind of effort. i will continue to try to reply though, a little here and a little there... sorry if that is a disappointment to you.
not disappointing, simply expected from Christians.  YOu all set such good examples of what a Christian really is.  

screwtape, i will revert to replying more than one person per post, in order to avoid multiple, extermely short posts. hope that replies don't get lost in the midst of it all.  We just get spewed on and lied to and then suddenely, after being handed their ass, the theist decides to leave in a hurry. It's quite like when a disgraced politician suddenly needs to "spend more time with their family".  

EDIT: I do love reading the excuses on tektonics. IT even makes me smile that they use that word.  If Jesus was so impressive to have thousands and thousands of people show up around him, why didn't the Romans notice that in a very fractious land where they constantly had problems with messiahs popping up?  Your bible makes claims of events that make no sense and never are commented uppon by anyone who surely would be witnessing them.  How about that decimation of Egypt's armies and the death of a huge percent of the population in those supposed "plagues"? Why does no other country seize upon the opportunity? Again and again we see that Christians lie and ignore the problems in their bible. 

Josephus is considered a forgery, the other mentions are of Christians, which would mean that any mention of any followers of any religion would be "proof" that those gods existed.  You good with that, siehjin? That any god is as valid as your nonsense?   
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 10:28:03 AM by velkyn »
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #208 on: November 11, 2010, 10:37:01 AM »

i think that a reasonable reply to the question of contemporary historians of Jesus can be found here: http://www.tektonics.org/qt/remslist.html


Ugh.  The excuse that site use is FUCKING terrible!  Accourding to that site, the reason why historians at the time didn't mention Jesus is... because he was too unimportant to mention!  Really?  That's the kind of statement you want to make about your godman?  He came to Earth to do a big important, and he ended up doing nothing worth making a note of?  Wow, talk about your time waster.  Beside which, that excuse is bullshit.

1)  In the bible, Jesus was said to be very famous, and people from far away flocked to see him.

Matthew 4:24-25
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News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Mark 1:45
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Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.


Mark 3:7-10
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Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.  When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.  For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him

Your own holy book refutes this obsure man arguement, making that site yet another LierForChristTM.


2) King Herod had all the babies in Bethlehem slaughtered.  You really think this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow or two?  This is a history-making event, but none of the historians that talk about King Heord mentions this; which would only make sense if the story was made up long after Herod died.

3) Jesus is portrayed as a troublemaker that came into conflict with the Pharisees over and over, to the point where, early on, they were conspiring how they may kill him.  Right after his death/resurrection, the bible states that they rationalized it right away.  That's not how you react to a nobody that's not worth commenting about.  This is how you'd react to someone causing you considerable trouble and grief.  Keep in mind, these Pharisees were very public about what they did to Jesus.  They got the Roman government involved in this, got a public execution, etc etc.  All that crap, and nobody even made a footnote of it?  Bullshit.

4)  When Jesus died, zombies rose from the graves!  One would think there was a crapload of historial references to this event, but what do we find?  Nothing.  Even the bible seems to think this was an unimportant detail, giving it only a couple of lines before moving on to something else.  Events such as that are the sort that makes history and inspire people to become historians.  Yet apparently, you want us to think zombies was an everyday sort of thing back then, to the point where no one bothered to discuss it.


« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 11:17:47 AM by Aaron123 »
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Offline velkyn

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #209 on: November 11, 2010, 11:07:57 AM »
Indeed, the claims of the dead raising in Matthew are always curious

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Matthew 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
  so no Jews noticed that their patriarchs were up wandering around?  No one say "my man Abraham, good to see you!"?  or Moses?  Heck wouldn't you think they'd go looking for that one or say David, or Solomon even if it's a limited area event? You get David, you get someone who could maybe throw out the Romans!   but not so strangely they can't even figure out where these guys are buried, this culture who is all about tombs. 
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #210 on: November 11, 2010, 11:26:04 AM »
Anyone else find the excuses on that site to be funny?  Apparently, the reason why historians didn't mention Jesus is because they normally didn't write about that sort of thing!  “Oh look, zombies are rising from the grave!  But I won't talk about it, since I only write satire.”  Err.... yeah.
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Offline rev45

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #211 on: November 11, 2010, 02:09:11 PM »
Anyone else find the excuses on that site to be funny?  Apparently, the reason why historians didn't mention Jesus is because they normally didn't write about that sort of thing!  “Oh look, zombies are rising from the grave!  But I won't talk about it, since I only write satire.”  Err.... yeah.
Maybe zombies were such a common occurrence that no one thought it was worth mentioning. :shrug
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Offline Aaron123

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #212 on: November 11, 2010, 02:41:46 PM »
Maybe zombies were such a common occurrence that no one thought it was worth mentioning. :shrug

It always seems that way in mythology, doesn't it?  In the ancient past, gods, monsters and demons were everywhere.  They apparently walked and talked with humans on a regular basic.  Just look at those historical documents called "Hercules" and "Xena" for more details.  By the time you get to the middle ages, the gods weren't quite so rampage, but there were still plenty of monsters around.  We had dragons and wizards and witches to content with.  Just look at all of those historical documents and re-enactments on King Arthur.  We know those movies are factual, because there's so many of them.  But now, we don't get any gods, monsters, demons, dragons, or wizards/witches to content with.  What happened?  Are they hidding? 

Funny how all the magic seems to fade away the better and more reliable historical records gets.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #213 on: November 12, 2010, 12:52:52 PM »
Followup for rev45

In some parts of the bible where it talks about yhwh defeating the sea, if you replace "yhwh" with "baal", it rhymes, it becomes poetry.  So it is suspected that some of the bible was rewritten material originally about baal.

Could you cite where those verses are or do you have a link to a site about this?  This is interesting to me.


I did not have a chance to get the Evolution of God out and check the reference.  But I did do some searching on the intertubes[1].  This was what I dug up:

Yhwh vs baal.  Pretty good even though written by a mormon.  It seems that he assumes the bible correctly portrays history and gets it very wrong.  In the first sentence: “As the Israelites settled in the land of Canaan…”  They didn’t settle there.  They already were there. They were Canaanites and baal worshippers.  Their religion changed.  Just like the jews who were not part of the exile or diaspora stayed in Judah and eventually converted to islam.  We now call them "palestinians". 

Later the mistake is repeated: “The strong denunciation of Baal in the Old Testament lends itself to the notion that the Baal cult had deeply penetrated Israelite culture.”  Baal was not the invader or usurper.  Baal was the god who was displaced by the upstart yhwh, mainly for political reasons.  Similar to how xianity was used[2] to consolidate power in the Roman Empire.

When he starts to get into josh 2 and using the Ugaritic verses about baal kicking River’s and Sea’s (Yam’s) butts, sounds like what Wright was originally referring to.

Some other yhwh/Baal info I found:

Baal in wiki
Difficult to read, but good info on how canaan became jewish.  Fewer references that I would prefer.
More on yhwh=baal

I hope that satisfies.

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 2. was it Constantine who did that? I always forget.
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Offline kcrady

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #214 on: November 13, 2010, 04:15:44 AM »
hullo kcrady... i reply with some trepidation as i've been very impressed by your posts... i know when i'm outclassed and outgunned.  :P

Well, thank you, I think. :)  Here's what I don't understand though.  In this context, you and I are in a discussion about the ultimate nature of reality (whether or not it includes the deity you describe).  If you are indeed "outclassed and outgunned" in a way that really matters, then you are confessing that my model of reality matches reality better than yours.  At least, that's the only way I care to "outclass and outgun" anyone in a context like this, or be outclassed and outgunned by them.  The standard that matters to me is "whose model of reality is more accurate?"  If you or anyone else outclasses and outguns me in this kind of context, then once I am convinced that I'm outclassed and outgunned (their model of reality is more accurate than mine), then my response is to update my model of reality to match or incorporate theirs.  Since my new model of reality now incorporates the facts and understanding with which they outclassed and outgunned me, I am no longer outclassed and outgunned, or at least I am not as outclassed and outgunned as I was before.  I've learned important new facts about reality, for which I can be grateful to the other person.

So, what I don't understand is: A) why you should feel any trepidation in replying to me; the "worst" that could happen is that you emerge with a more accurate model of reality.  B) why, if you feel "outclassed and outgunned," you do not consider updating your model of reality instead of casting about for other people's websites in hopes of propping up your current model?  If your model of reality is more accurate than mine, then reality is on your side, and it should not be possible for me to "outclass and outgun" you.  On the other hand, if my model of reality is more accurate, then apologetics websites won't save yours.  What's true is already so.  Owning up to it won't make it any worse.   

nevertheless, i think a good answer to the question of free will in heaven can be found here: http://www.comereason.org/phil_qstn/phi039.asp

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1. Choices Can Produce Irreversible Change

The first important point to realize is that some choices we as individuals make produce profound and irreversible changes to our natures and our actions. The most obvious demonstration of this is the fall in the Garden of Eden. The choice of Adam and Eve to sin against God resulted in drastic changes, physically as well as to their natures. They and their progeny would now have a sinful nature - their proclivity would be toward sin - and they would become dull to the things of God.

This violates any meaningful concept of "free will."  Never mind that, according to the story, Adam and Eve were never warned about a hereditary curse that would infect all future generations of humanity, make the Holocaust and the Gulag Archipelago possible, etc. and spread until it destroyed the very Cosmos, forcing Yahweh to start the work of Creation over again.  Ignore then, the fact that they were not offered an informed choice.  The notion that "sin" would then infect everyone with an irresistible "proclivity" toward "sin" eliminates the concept of "free will."  No one was given any choice about inheriting a "proclivity" from their ancestors that makes them guilty from birth.  There is no "free will" in relation to whether we choose to "sin" or not.  We have no choice in the matter.  It's forced on us at birth.  Thus, "free will" cannot serve as an excuse, a "reason" to have a world filled with evil.

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2. At Salvation We are Given A New, Godly Nature

All of this language says that there is something more fundamental going on in the human soul at the time of conversion than the forgiveness of our sins. We are indwelt with the Holy Spirit and given a new nature.

This is a testable claim.  We now have brain-scanning technology that makes it possible to observe brain states, including mystical experiences of "communion with the divine."[1]  If it is true that Christians undergo a transformation of their fundamental nature at the moment of "salvation," it should be trivially easy to detect this in a brain scan.  Furthermore, there should be statistical evidence of Christians behaving differently from normal humans.

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4. Upon Death, This Nature Becomes Dominant in the Believer

Because we have two natures that are at odds with each other, there is an inner struggle that exists in every believer.

Again, this is a testable claim.  Unbelievers like us, and believers in other religions would not have this inner struggle between rival natures that would be the unique province of Real, True Christians.  The same kind of psychological testing that can reveal the presence of bipolar disorder, ADHD, etc., would also be able to detect the presence of a second, nonhuman nature in conflict with human nature as it applies to the rest of the human species.

So, either this nonhuman nature is distinct from unaltered human nature, or it isn't.  If it is, then its presence should be objectively detectable.  If it isn't, then Occam's Razor trims it away as an unnecessary and content-free hypothesis.

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5. Christ is the Perfect Example of This Nature

The best example of what this divine nature is like can be found in Jesus himself.
>snip<
All of the arguments above have demonstrated that it is possible for us to have a nature that is divine and loath to sin.

So Jesus had a "divine" nature that was "loath to sin."  In other words, he had a "proclivity" not to "sin."  This is not "free will" in any meaningful sense, in relation to "sin."  If Adam had been made hard-wired to be "loath to sin," then he would have been able to resist the temptation to eat the Fruit of Morality[2] with the same ease we can resist any "temptation" to eat dog poop.  "Free will" means being able to make the choice you want to make.  If your wants are hard-wired by an external agency to have a "proclivity" toward "sin" or to loathe "sin," then you do not have "free will" with regard to the choice to "sin" or not.

Watch how the author sidesteps around the question of whether Jesus could have "sinned" or not:

Quote
Now I know that this opens up a "hot button" topic on whether Christ really could have sinned. For more on this, I'd recommend the section in Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology called "Could Jesus Have Sinned (2). I will just quote from the conclusion here. "Jesus had the ability, by virtue of his divine nature, to perform [changing stones into bread], but if he had done it, he would no longer have been obeying in the strength of his human nature alone, he would have failed the test that Adam also failed, and he would not have earned our salvation for us. Therefore, Jesus refused to rely on his divine nature to make obedience easier for him." Jesus had free will and overcame temptation. He had free will and yet did not sin.

That he "did not sin" is not actually relevant to the question.  The question is, could he have sinned?  To say that "Jesus did not ride a bicycle" is not at all the same thing as saying that he could not ride a bicycle, or that he never can ride a bicycle.  Can a person sin in Heaven?  Thirty years is a trivial period of time in comparison to eternity.  If Jesus could have sinned, and his nature during the Incarnation is comparable to the nature the believer will have in Heaven, then the believer can sin in Heaven.  If Jesus could not have sinned, then the believer in Heaven can't sin--but this comes at the price of rendering Jesus' rejection of "sin" moot.  He could not have "sinned" in any case, so his "sinlessness" is not some great victory, nor is there any "free will" involved.  No one's going to give me a medal for being unable to flap my arms and fly to New York.  I have no "free will" in relation to the choice of whether or not to fly by flapping my arms.  Physics makes that "choice" for me. 

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7. Conclusion: In Heaven We Can Have Free Will and Yet Not Sin

In reviewing all of the above, we can see that it's possible for man to have free volition in heaven and yet never sin. We have a new, divine nature in Christ. This nature cannot sin, just as Christ cannot sin.

OK, so now he comes out and says that Christ had no option of committing "sin."  With regard to "sin," Christ had no free will, just as we have no free will to choose to never "sin."  In both cases, a pre-loaded "proclivity" makes this decision. 

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Even though Jesus could not sin, He was still free.

Not in relation to "sin."  If he could not "sin," then he had no choice in the matter.  He could not succumb to a temptation or even want to, because, as he himself states, to want to sin ("look at a woman with lust") is equivalent to doing the deed.  I can't choose to fly like Superman.  If Yahweh or anyone else were to decree that flying like Superman is a terrible cosmic crime, I get no credit for the fact that physics does not offer me the option.

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Therefore, we can exist with free will in heaven and we will not sin.

Consider the scope of what "sin" entails, and the massive amount of change to your nature that would be required for this to be possible.  "Sin" is (as I understand it) generally defined as any disobedience of Yahweh, no matter how small.  Let's say that you lost your virginity as a teenager, and you were not married to the person at the time.  You may have chosen to "repent" of the deed, but you are still able to think back and remember how beautiful/handsome the person was to you at the time, remember the shared blushes at seeing one another naked, the rapture in their eyes, the thrill of your first orgasm, etc..

In Heaven, all of that will be erased.  You will not be able to have or remember those sorts of feelings.  For you shall be like the angels, neither marrying nor being given in marriage.  Your sexuality will be deleted from your being.  If that other person died without becoming a Christian, you will be unable to be anything but delighted that they're now subject to everlasting misery, no matter what remembered fondness you might still hold for them now.  If one of your own children ends up in "Hell" (however defined) you will be unable to shed a tear for them.  Unable.  You will be unable to make love to your spouse, or even view them as your spouse anymore.  Every memory that includes "sin" will be erased, since "sinful" thoughts = "sin," and you will be incapable of "sin."

Go through the list of things you enjoy in life.  How many of them will you still be able to experience in Heaven?  Will you still be able to enjoy football or boxing?  Sex is obviously out of the question.  What about reading stories or watching movies that aren't about Yahweh, or which would be "sinful" in one way or another?[3]  Will you ever be able to experience a thrill of danger, or of adventure, or of a difficult challenge to be faced?  Highly unlikely.

Now, your nature will be changed for you so that none of this represents a problem.  Think about this for a moment.  Will this creature without empathy,[4] without sexuality, without a capacity for adventure or the enjoyment of fiction or sports or fancy cars, etc., etc. still be you in any meaningful sense?  What's the difference between this "change of nature" you get after death, and having your mind transferred to a computer or a robot?  The "you" that anyone recognizes as you still dies forever.  This other person, loaded with a few non-"sinful" memories of yours will not be "you" any more than a robot likeness loaded with those same memories would be.

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So, it is possible for a being to exist, be truly free and not able to sin.

Again, they are not free in relation to "sin," which is the issue here.  The whole reason "sin" and all of its horrible consequences exist is because Yahweh wanted us to have "free will" in relation to "sin," or so we are told.  The "free will" debate here is not over the choice to have chocolate or strawberry ice cream.  It's about having the choice to "sin" or not.  As I've pointed out earlier, we are not given "free will" in relation to "sin," since we've either got a "proclivity" to sin, or a new "proclivity" that (when it fully takes over after death) makes it impossible for us to "sin."

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The thing I find even more intriguing, though, is that it may expose one of God's grand purposes in allowing the events of the universe unfold as they did. Many times people ask "Why would God allow evil in the world to begin with? Why wouldn't he just create beings who could not sin at the beginning?"

Here I agree with William Lane Craig. In a debate against Dr. Ray Bradley in 1994 (3), Craig was asked why God didn't just create heaven as the world and forego the rest.

Craig responded:
   
"No,Heaven may not be a possible world when you take it in isolation by itself. It may be that the only way in which God could actualize a heaven of free creatures all worshiping Him and not falling into sin would be by having, so to speak, this run-up to it, this advance life during which there is a veil of decision-making in which some people choose for God and some people against God. Otherwise you don't know that heaven is an actualizable world. You have no way of knowing that possibility."
>snip<
"I'm saying that it may not be feasible for God to actualize heaven in isolation from such an antecedent world."

This is just idle speculation on Craig's part.  No evidence or logic is offered for why a heaven without a sinful Earth would not be an "actualizable" world.  Why could Yahweh have not wired Adam and Eve to be "loath to sin" like Jesus from the start?  He could still call them "free" even if by their nature they would never "sin," and they would have the same "free will" believers are supposed to have in Heaven.  How can that not be good enough?  Is Yahweh not omnipotent enough to actualize any world he likes under any conditions he likes?

If Craig's speculation were valid, then "sin" would be metaphysically necessary in order for there to be a Kingdom of Heaven.  "Sin" becomes an independent and sovereign Power in its own right, able to tie Yahweh's hands and force him to play by its rules.  "Want to have happy people in Heaven?  Sorry, Yahweh, you can't do that unless you set up a world that includes Genghis Khan and Vlad the Impaler and Hitler and Stalin and priests who rape little kids.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!"  Of the two Gods in this theology, Sin is clearly the stronger of the two.

However, there is a powerful argument against Craig's neo-Zoroastrian theology: did Yahweh not create Heaven first?  If there was a time when Creation was perfect, when angelic choirs sang in harmony and humans happily munched fruit in Paradise and no one had yet thought to rebel against Yahweh, then Heaven (defined, presumably, as a perfect Creation) was an actualized world.  It was, in fact, better than what will exist when the credits roll on the Book of Revelation, because it did not contain a realm of permanent suffering for people and angels under permanent divine wrath.  Yahweh had nothing to be angry about in those days.
 1. See Why God Won't Go Away by Andrew Neuberg, Eugene D'Aquili, and Vince Rause
 2. The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Yes, that's right.  Morality comes not from Yahweh, who desires blind obedience, obedience given in ignorance of the nature of the magic fruit and what Yahweh would actually do if they ate it.  Morality--the ability to make informed, ethical choices is portrayed as the gift of the Serpent.
 3. Is there a sex scene in the book or movie?  Violence?  People going through lives and adventures that aren't centered on the worship of Yahweh?  Don't bet on being able to enjoy it in Heaven.
 4. Remember, you cannot mourn for those in Hell, since "He will wipe away ever tear."
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Offline Positiveaob

Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #215 on: November 13, 2010, 01:28:02 PM »
As far as that last part, about William Lane Craig, it's actually ridiculously easy to refute.  What about miscarriages, abortions, ectopics?  They would not have a so called dry run here on earth.  Same goes for toddlers that die, etc.  How do they fit in this logic?  They never had an opportunity to sin or redeem themselves.

Keep in mind too that various estimates have put the percentage of pregnancies that don't result in a live birth at about one third.  Think about that for a second.  One third of "souls" (if you believe they exist) are created by this god figure and do not have to go through this whole "earth" thing.  They just get a free pass to eternal bliss.  They dont get tested here at all, no opportunity to sin.  If you believe this is true, you would think you would rejoice when a pregnancy doesn't result in a live birth.

Like kcrady said, you shouldn't feel "outgunned" at all.  If the god you believe in were a reality, there shouldn't be a debate at all.  Those of us here on this forum aren't under the influence of a devil or something.  We are just not brainwashed into believing cultural superstitions.  Religion is a large scale cult, nothing more.  You get hooked because you are taught early on that you have some kind of inborn fault that will be with you until you die.  You are taught not to question, not to apply the basic rules of logic or critical thinking to matters of this god or gods (which ones depend on when and where you grow up).  And since the "answer" only really comes when you die, no one is around to verify it to you because if they've seen him they're dead.  So the belief persists.  There's always that fear of "what if I don't believe and it turns it I'm wrong?"

The problem is, the particular god or gods you believe in is entirely dependent on where and when you grow up.  Do you feel you would have been a christian if you grew up in Kandahar?  Or in 5th century japan?  Or in the Andes mountains in the 14 century?  Or in what is nevada or Canada in the 16th century?  Or in Athens in the 5th century BCE?  No?  Why not?  Why were you so lucky to be born in the time and place that got it right?

The emperor has no clothes.  It's all just superstition.  The points we bring up here on this forum aren't complicated.  Theyre just basic logic and reason applied to an area you have never applied them to before.  
« Last Edit: November 13, 2010, 01:30:44 PM by Positiveaob »
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Offline siehjin

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #216 on: November 18, 2010, 06:55:33 AM »
hullo everyone.  :)

Josephus is considered a forgery, the other mentions are of Christians, which would mean that any mention of any followers of any religion would be "proof" that those gods existed.  You good with that, siehjin? That any god is as valid as your nonsense?  

i think that the mentions of Christians are good evidence that Jesus existed. this does not prove that He was God or that God exists. but to me it seems obvious that Jesus did exist.

just like the existence of Muslims are good evidence that Muhammad existed. this does not prove that Allah exists, though.

Your own holy book refutes this obsure man arguement, making that site yet another LierForChristTM.

what Jesus did was of great impact spiritually, but not in a secular sense. He didn't cause political upheaval, form his own city-state and etc (like muhammad did). sure, just as the bible said, many people from the surrounding regions may have been attracted to his message and went to hear him - but they'd either be Jews, curious to see if this was really the messiah, or people who have an unusual interest in itinerant preachers and obscure religious beliefs. i think that the argument that secular historians thought other events and issues more important, and either never heard of Jesus or just pooh-poohed him just as you are doing now, is quite valid.

2) King Herod had all the babies in Bethlehem slaughtered.  You really think this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow or two?  This is a history-making event, but none of the historians that talk about King Heord mentions this; which would only make sense if the story was made up long after Herod died.

see http://www.suite101.com/content/did-herod-kill-children-a38809.

4)  When Jesus died, zombies rose from the graves!  One would think there was a crapload of historial references to this event, but what do we find?  Nothing.  Even the bible seems to think this was an unimportant detail, giving it only a couple of lines before moving on to something else.  Events such as that are the sort that makes history and inspire people to become historians.  Yet apparently, you want us to think zombies was an everyday sort of thing back then, to the point where no one bothered to discuss it.

yes, this passage is one which i've had difficulty with before. this gives a theological answer: http://christianthinktank.com/oddrise.html, and this gives a short, practical one: http://www.iloveatheists.com/top_100/challenge_category/New%20Testament/challenge_answer/116

A) why you should feel any trepidation in replying to me; the "worst" that could happen is that you emerge with a more accurate model of reality.  B) why, if you feel "outclassed and outgunned," you do not consider updating your model of reality instead of casting about for other people's websites in hopes of propping up your current model?  If your model of reality is more accurate than mine, then reality is on your side, and it should not be possible for me to "outclass and outgun" you.  On the other hand, if my model of reality is more accurate, then apologetics websites won't save yours.  What's true is already so.  Owning up to it won't make it any worse.

the thing is, even if my model of reality is more accurate, (i'm not saying it definitely is, but just that even IF it is), if i'm not intelligent and articulate enough to defend it, i'll still get pwned. hence the trepidation. :P

i think if would be quite hard for me to change my model of reality. but yes, if it really is conclusively disproved, i will have to consider changing it.

but then, as i read and research more, i find that our arguments are nothing new. better minds than mine have argued on both sides of the divide for centuries, and no firm conclusion has yet been found. it seems that there will always be some who choose to believe, and some who choose not to...

Never mind that, according to the story, Adam and Eve were never warned about a hereditary curse that would infect all future generations of humanity, make the Holocaust and the Gulag Archipelago possible, etc. and spread until it destroyed the very Cosmos, forcing Yahweh to start the work of Creation over again.  Ignore then, the fact that they were not offered an informed choice.  The notion that "sin" would then infect everyone with an irresistible "proclivity" toward "sin" eliminates the concept of "free will."  No one was given any choice about inheriting a "proclivity" from their ancestors that makes them guilty from birth.  There is no "free will" in relation to whether we choose to "sin" or not.  We have no choice in the matter.  It's forced on us at birth.  Thus, "free will" cannot serve as an excuse, a "reason" to have a world filled with evil.

they were warned, 'in the day that you eat of it you shall die." the full extent of that death, we are still experiencing today.

and a proclivity towards sin doesn't necessarily mean no free will with regards to sin. i have a proclivity for ice-cream, but i can still choose not to eat it.

That he "did not sin" is not actually relevant to the question.  The question is, could he have sinned?  To say that "Jesus did not ride a bicycle" is not at all the same thing as saying that he could not ride a bicycle, or that he never can ride a bicycle.  Can a person sin in Heaven?  Thirty years is a trivial period of time in comparison to eternity.  If Jesus could have sinned, and his nature during the Incarnation is comparable to the nature the believer will have in Heaven, then the believer can sin in Heaven.  If Jesus could not have sinned, then the believer in Heaven can't sin--but this comes at the price of rendering Jesus' rejection of "sin" moot.  He could not have "sinned" in any case, so his "sinlessness" is not some great victory, nor is there any "free will" involved.  

i think that Jesus could have sinned. also, that we can sin in heaven. but that we will not want to. as an aside, if C.S. Lewis is right in that "the doors of hell are locked from the inside", then the adverse is also true - sinners can repent in hell, but they will not want to.

christians are supposed to be going through the process of being prepared for heaven now. for example, there was a time when i sinned and enjoyed it, with no hint of remorse or regret. then i realised that sin is wrong. i began to try to stop myself from sinning. i realised how addicted i was to sin, and how great it's hold on me was. even now as i struggle with sin and temptation, there's a part of me that wants to sin - that's the old nature. but there's also a part of me - what i'd consciously consider to be the 'real me', my new nature - that abhors sin and wants to stop it.

supposedly this struggle will go on throughout my earthly life, with the old nature getting weaker and weaker and the new nature getting stronger and stronger. it's the process of being changed into the likeness of Christ. until finally in heaven, the old will be gone and i will finally be free. i will no longer want to sin. in faith, i look forward to that.  :)

i have no answer to your questions about how our natures will be changed if or when we end up in heaven. i know that much of the biblical description of heaven is metaphorical, e.g. i don't think there will be literal streets of gold there. the only thing that i know for sure is that God will be there, and as He is the Source of all Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, i want to be there with Him.

i have to believe that i will still be 'me' in some meaningful sense, but i am unable to answer your queries about that. i do believe that there is a 'me' that is real and that does not require sin to be part of its' identity. i guess i'll only know for sure what heaven will be like, and what i will be like there, if i actually get there someday. while i'm still here on earth, i can only imagine what it will be like.

btw that reminds me of this is a song about heaven that i enjoy - "i can only imagine" by MercyMe. it might not be very meaningful to you as an atheist, but take a listen and let me know what you think... hopefully even if the content is nonsensical to you, the music might be alright:

However, there is a powerful argument against Craig's neo-Zoroastrian theology: did Yahweh not create Heaven first?  If there was a time when Creation was perfect, when angelic choirs sang in harmony and humans happily munched fruit in Paradise and no one had yet thought to rebel against Yahweh, then Heaven (defined, presumably, as a perfect Creation) was an actualized world.  It was, in fact, better than what will exist when the credits roll on the Book of Revelation, because it did not contain a realm of permanent suffering for people and angels under permanent divine wrath.  Yahweh had nothing to be angry about in those days.

i actually heard a preacher once say that the glory of heaven will surpass even the bliss that existed before the fall.

in a sense before the fall, adam and eve did not realise what they had... having only experienced goodness, they did not have anything to compare it with. in heaven, we will have known evil and suffering, and so our experience of the goodness and joy of heaven will be that much richer and fulfilling... it also helps explain why we will not want to sin - because we have experienced firsthand the full extent of the death that results from sin.

the problem of how we can enjoy heaven when we know people are suffering in hell is a big one. i would tend to think that we do not lose our empathy; that we do feel sorrow over those who are lost; and yet that sorrow does not overshadow our joy in being with God. this would parallel what i believe to be God's emotional state; for as "He takes no joy in the perishing or the unrighteous - Ezekiel 33:11" He too doubtless is saddenned by their rejection of Him. and yet, He is at the same time, the Joyful God (http://bible.org/seriespage/joy-god). [note - i realise that the bible has little relevance or validity to you, but it is my main source for what i believe and think i understand about God... so i hope you won't mind me quoting it here.] in this regard, i agree again with C.S. Lewis, that "Hell should not have veto power over Heaven" (this is not an exact quote... it's from memory. from the Great Divorce, if i remember correctly.)

while i was reading up on this, i found this wikipedia article helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_Hell. it outlines the problems of hell, and how various christian denominations have tried to deal with it.

ok that's all i have time for today... thank you for reading and responding. :)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 06:58:25 AM by siehjin »
1. if God does not exist: we are a meaningless cosmic accident.
2. if God exists, but is Evil: we are screwed.
3. but if God exists, and is Good: we have meaning, purpose, and hope.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #217 on: November 18, 2010, 07:16:39 AM »
Josephus is considered a forgery, the other mentions are of Christians, which would mean that any mention of any followers of any religion would be "proof" that those gods existed.  You good with that, siehjin? That any god is as valid as your nonsense?  

i think that the mentions of Christians are good evidence that Jesus existed. this does not prove that He was God or that God exists. but to me it seems obvious that Jesus did exist.

just like the existence of Muslims are good evidence that Muhammad existed. this does not prove that Allah exists, though.

I'd have no problem letting you get away with this.....IF you are absolutely agreeing that Jesus was no more divine than Mohammed, or you or I.  Jesus the preacher who said a couple nice things about a god that doesn't really exist and whose exploits got blown up out of all proportion....sure, I can shrug and agree with that.

Because he wouldn't matter.  Because if it were true, then the whole foundation of Christianity would crumble into nothingness.  If Jesus is not the divine son of god, then there was no "sacrificed his only son" - hence there is no salvation through belief in Christ, no washing away of worldwide sin, no nothing.

So be very careful how you play this card, because "Jesus the no-more-god-than-I" renders the entire Christian message a pointless fabrication.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #218 on: November 18, 2010, 10:38:26 AM »
hullo everyone.  :)

Josephus is considered a forgery, the other mentions are of Christians, which would mean that any mention of any followers of any religion would be "proof" that those gods existed.  You good with that, siehjin? That any god is as valid as your nonsense?  

i think that the mentions of Christians are good evidence that Jesus existed. this does not prove that He was God or that God exists. but to me it seems obvious that Jesus did exist.

just like the existence of Muslims are good evidence that Muhammad existed. this does not prove that Allah exists, though.

So, are you happy with believing in a itinerant rabbi that did nothing special and is not going to "save" you?  I'd think you wouldn't be happy at all.  So we're back again at what evidence you have of your religion being true?  Are you good with any religion having as much chance as being true or untrue as yours? 
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Offline screwtape

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #219 on: November 18, 2010, 10:42:06 AM »
i think that the mentions of Christians are good evidence that Jesus existed. this does not prove that He was God or that God exists. but to me it seems obvious that Jesus did exist.

just like the existence of Muslims are good evidence that Muhammad existed. this does not prove that Allah exists, though.

And the existence of Greeks is good evidence that Perseus, Achilles and Hercules existed.  Right?


see http://www.suite101.com/content/did-herod-kill-children-a38809.

From that link:
Quote
The bottom line is that there is no evidence for the "massacre of the innocents" story outside of the Bible.


yes, this passage is one which i've had difficulty with before. this gives a theological answer: http://christianthinktank.com/oddrise.html,

from that link:
Quote
Now it would be highly unusual for someone raised in 33 ad to live naturally another 90-100 years

LOL!!! How long did the dead raised in 33CE typically live?

also from that link:
Quote
The point is that resurrections are not isolated phenomena--they were a bit more widespread than the few individual cases mentioned in the gospels would lead us to believe...Eutychus by Paul, the group at the Crucifixion--indeed, even Ireneaus--a half century later--could write of resurrections in Christian Churches

So I guess jesus H's resurrection was not all that special then, was it?  But is that not a major talking point for xians?  How awesome and real their god must be because he was uniquely raised from the dead?  If resurrection is now passe, what does that do to your cred?  So much fail there.


and this gives a short, practical one: http://www.iloveatheists.com/top_100/challenge_category/New%20Testament/challenge_answer/116

The entirety of the explanation provided by that link:
Quote
While certainly possible, a Christian need not be committed one way or the other with respect to whether this purports to describe a historical event, or whether it is Matthew’s gloss on the historical event of the crucifixion in terms of apocalyptic imagery.

In other words, "just ignore it.  It does not really matter."  Priceless. 



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Offline Aaron123

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Re: So god's will is none of your damned business
« Reply #220 on: November 18, 2010, 11:48:02 AM »
what Jesus did was of great impact spiritually, but not in a secular sense. He didn't cause political upheaval, form his own city-state and etc (like muhammad did). sure, just as the bible said, many people from the surrounding regions may have been attracted to his message and went to hear him - but they'd either be Jews, curious to see if this was really the messiah, or people who have an unusual interest in itinerant preachers and obscure religious beliefs. i think that the argument that secular historians thought other events and issues more important, and either never heard of Jesus or just pooh-poohed him just as you are doing now, is quite valid.

That would make perfect sense if Jesus was just some guy spreading crazy new-age religious woo.  If you were saying that Jesus was just a person, nothing special, then I woudn't have a problem accepting that he existed.  But you're suggusting that Jesus was the son of god himself, god incarnate, He and "the Father" are one, etc.  That's a VERY amazing claim, and it needs to be backed up by amazing evidences.  I cannot accept a total of "nothing" evidence that he existed.  You are giving me no reason at all not to dismiss it out of hand.


2) King Herod had all the babies in Bethlehem slaughtered.  You really think this wouldn't have raised an eyebrow or two?  This is a history-making event, but none of the historians that talk about King Heord mentions this; which would only make sense if the story was made up long after Herod died.

see http://www.suite101.com/content/did-herod-kill-children-a38809.

Bolded my post, because I presume it's that part the link is suppose to refute.

Yet, from that link:


Quote
As to contemporary evidence, there is none. Aside from the Gospel of Matthew, no document from the first century A.D. (or before) attests to this event. Consequently, most secular, mainstream historians have looked upon the "Massacre of the Innocents" as more legend than factual history.


Sounds like this article is agreeing with me.  The best it can do is say "oh, but that's consistance with who King Herod was!"  Big whoop.



yes, this passage is one which i've had difficulty with before. this gives a theological answer: http://christianthinktank.com/oddrise.html,


I see nothing but bible and apologetics citations.  That link did nothing but waste my time with circular reasoning.  HINT:  If you're trying to tell me something in the bible is factual, do not use the bible and others that belives in the bible as your only source of references.



and this gives a short, practical one: http://www.iloveatheists.com/top_100/challenge_category/New%20Testament/challenge_answer/116

From that link:
Quote
While certainly possible, a Christian need not be committed one way or the other with respect to whether this purports to describe a historical event, or whether it is Matthew’s gloss on the historical event of the crucifixion in terms of apocalyptic imagery.

In short:  Shut up, and don't think about it.  Apparently, what I need to do is circumnavigate the intellect.  Really?  Is that the best you can do?  Once again, you have given me nothing, which is every reason for me to dismiss it out of hand.

*sign*  Once again, a wate of time.
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